International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (1):91-110 (2006)
|Abstract||Nietzsche’s perspectivism has aroused the perplexity of many a recent commentator, not least because of the doctrine’s apparent self-refuting character. If, as Nietzsche holds, there are no facts but only interpretations, then how are we to understand this claim itself? Nietzsche’s perspectivism must be construed either as a fact or as one further interpretation—but in the former case the doctrine is clearly self-refuting, while in the latter case any reasons or arguments one may have in support of one’s perspective are rendered bothimpotent and superfluous. The unpalatable consequences of Nietzsche’s perspectivism are further highlighted by considering its effects on Nietzsche’s treatment of the fundamental laws of logic, such as the principle of non-contradiction. Finally, Nietzsche’s perspectivism, if not self-refuting, at least seems to be refuted by his own writings, where he confidently puts forward various doctrines and critiques, thus indicating that he does not think of his own beliefs as being true merely in a perspectival sense. There is every reason, I conclude, to be perplexed about Nietzsche’s perspectivism|
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